We’ve griped about the anatomy of a McRib before (their rib-shaped meat mixture is really not the kind of “ribs” that we grew up with), but Taco Bell’s ground “beef” is so suspect, it’s cause for a full-on lawsuit. In fact, the stuff that fills your fast food taco only contains 36% beef, according to the Alabama law firm that’s suing the company for false advertising.
The USDA classifies beef as: “chopped fresh and/or frozen beef with or without seasoning and without the addition of beef fat as such, shall not contain more than 30 percent fat, and shall not contain added water, phosphates, binders, or extenders.” So what have you been eating in your double “beef” burritos? According to Taco Bell’s “Taco Meat Filling” ingredients list, the other 64% is mostly chemicals; not a lot of recognizable ingredients:
Water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2% of beef broth, potassium phosphate, and potassium lactate.
The highlighted ingredients above are just a couple of the reasons that an Alabama law firm is arguing that Taco Bell has no business advertising its “taco meat filling” as beef, since the USDA specifies that beef does not include phosphates and binders. Then, there’s the fact that it’s only 36% beef. Only 36% beef! The USDA also specifies that meat taco filling should be 40% beef; Taco Bell’s formula doesn’t even meet those standards, at least according to the Alabama law firm suing them.
Yo no quiero Taco Bell, gracias.